India-UAE CEPA to benefit SMEs



INDIA- UAE bilateral free trade agreement to create one million-plus jobs for Indians 

The partnership agreement will open doors for labour-intensive sectors such as textiles, gem & jewellery, medicines, agricultural products, footwear, leather, sports goods, engineering goods, auto components and plastics……

The CEPA brings the two nations closer, will open many new opportunities for Indians to work in UAE, including in fintech, edtech, green tech, automation and Artificial Intelligence. Technology, digital trade and sustainability have a big focus in the partnership.

The India-UAE bilateral trade agreement will create one million-plus jobs in India, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. Zero duty for Ninenty per cent of products going from India to UAE Bilateral trade between India & UAE to reach $ 100 billion by 2027

MSMEs to benefit

The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Mr. Piyush Goyal says India-UAE bilateral trade agreement,  Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will benefit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It will also benefit startups, farmers, traders and all other sections of enterprises. The CEPA between India-UAE was signed on 18th February 2022. 

The agreement covers a wide range of goods and services. It deals with aspects such as rules of origin, Customs procedures, government procurement, intellectual property rights, and e-commerce. Further tariff concessions to come in force on both sides over 5 years, which will lead to lower tariffs for almost 98 percent of exports and 90 per cent of imports from the UAE. Indian exports are set to get zero percent duty access in a span five to ten years, including electronic goods, chemicals and petrochemicals cement, ceramics and machinery accounting for about 9 percent of the value of current exports to the UAE. India has given tariff concessions to UAE on gold, and UAE  eliminated tariffs on jewellery. 

Mr. Goyal asserted that “Indo- UAE CEPA is a balanced, fair, comprehensive & equitable partnership agreement, which will give enhanced market access for India in both goods and services, which will create jobs for our youth, open new markets for our startups, make our businesses more competitive & boost our economy.” He added that “sector-wise consultations have shown that the pact will create a minimum of 10 lakh jobs for Indian citizens”.

90% of products exported from India to UAE will attract zero duty 

The Union Minister said that the CEPA is a landmark partnership between two nations whose political leadership and businesses share very strong bonds going back many years in history.  “The partnership agreement will open doors especially to labour-intensive Indian products which are exported to UAE – such as textiles, gem & jewellery, medicines, agricultural products, footwear, leather, sports goods, engineering goods, auto components and plastics”, said the minister.

UAE has offered immediate market access at Zero duty from day one of the entry into force of the Agreement, to products accounting for 90% of India’s exports to UAE in value terms. “Around 90% of products exported from India to UAE will attract zero duty with implementation of the Agreement. 80% lines of trade will attract zero duty, remaining 20% does not affect our exports much, so this is a win-win agreement.”

The CEPA will not only improve competitiveness of Indian products, but also provide strategic advantages to India. “Since UAE functions as a trading hub, the Agreement will help provide us market entry points to Africa, Middle East and Europe” he added.

The Minister noted that with the conclusion of the CEPA, India and UAE aim to increase  bilateral goods trade over the next five years to $100 billion. “However, I believe that the potential for trade between the two nations is even bigger, we will surpass the target we have set for ourselves”, said the Minister.

New opportunities for Technogy-IT sector and professionals 

The Minister threw light on benefits to various sectors. “The CEPA brings the two nations closer, will open many new opportunities for Indians to work in UAE, including in fintech, edtech, green tech, automation and Artificial Intelligence. Technology, digital trade and sustainability have a big focus in the partnership.

Automatic registration and marketing authorization of Indian Generic medicines in 90 days

“For the first time in a Trade agreement, the CEPA provides for automatic registration and marketing authorisation of Indian generic medicines in 90 days, once they are approved in developed countries. This will give big market access to Indian medicines not only in UAE, but also in Middle East and Africa.” Shri Goyal informed.

Food Security Corridor

The Minister also said that the CEPA provides for a permanent bilateral safeguard mechanism to deal with sudden surge in imports of any product. It also has stringent ‘rules of origin’ reflecting requirements for substantial processing of up to 40% value addition. An MoU among APEDA, DP World & Al Dahra on the UAE side regarding “Food Security Corridor Initiative” has been prepared, under which India will be able to play an important role in food security of UAE, he added.

Exclusion list

Under the CEPA between India- UAE, there is a separate “exclusion list” ( negative or sensitive list). This measure is taken keeping in mind the need to protect the domestic industry so that items in that list will remain out of the current CEAP. Further,  Tariffs Rate Quotas (TRQs) on certain items will remain for the next ten years and will be reviewed after a period of ten years. The landmark India-UAE Comprehensive Partnership Agreement deal was signed during the virtual summit meeting between Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, H.E. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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